Hillside Park converted to wedding venue

HARARE - Hillside residents have begun signing a petition to block former Labour deputy minister Petronella Kagonye from constructing a wedding venue on a wetland.

According to the residents, the venue will be located at the recreational park at the corner of Chiremba Road and Brooks Drive.

The petition comes as the Hillside Park Association (HPA) blocked a similar construction of a bus rank by Harare City Council (HCC) at another wetland close to Mukuvisi Woodlands.

“We asked Kagonye to stop clearing the land until we have seen the paperwork from council but she continued.

“We cannot allow her to destroy the environment and one of Harare’s sources of water as Mukuvisi River passes through the park,” HPA chairperson Arlene Wilson-Max said.

Wilson-Max alleges that some council employees may have been bribed to approve the wedding venue on the protected area.

However, HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said people need to prove allegations of corruption before they go about accusing council.

Chideme said the city was acting in the most transparent manner that anyone who accuses them should have evidence of wrongdoing.

“The area in question is zoned public open space and recreation where a functions venue is freely permitted.

“The use of the open space is going to be allowed on lease basis and only temporary structures will be permitted,” Chideme said.

He added that the area will mainly be landscaped and planted with flowers and shrubs to add to the existing aesthetics value.

When the Daily News visited the area, it had been cleared of some trees and the thicket on a portion of the park.

Last year, council was challenged by residents to produce environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports following their invasion of wetlands across the city.

HCC had cleared land on wetlands in Hillside, Kambuzuma and Eastlea for construction of bus ranks and fuel service stations.

While the fuel station in Kambuzuma was officially opened by Local Government minister July Moyo earlier this year, the bus ranks have been stopped pending finalisation of their matters at the courts.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.